Meet our new Artist of the Week: Spirit Animal. Get to know their influences, dream collaboration and more with our Q&A.
1. Can you introduce yourself to those who may not know you?
We are Spirit Animal from Brooklyn. We would probably be SP!R!T AN!MAL! but everybody would have to use the shift key too much.
2. How would you describe your music to people who have never heard it before?
Modern, catchy, in your face fun.
3. What are you looking forward to most for the rest of 2018?
We’re excited for people to get our album, Born Yesterday, and to drop the “Painkiller” video (they come out the same day, August 3). We’re touring like crazy. We’ve played 50 shows this year and we’ll probably play 50 more. We have a few more dates with Incubus and we’re supporting The Struts in September and October with White Reaper.
4. Who are your musical influences?
It varies from member to member, but we all love Tom Petty, Kendrick Lamar, The Beatles, Nicolas Jaar, Jason Isbell and old soul like Otis Redding and Bill Withers.
5. What about non-musical influences?
6. If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be and why?
Kanye West. I don’t see how anyone can answer this question any other way at this time.
7. What do you hope fans get from your music?
We want people to feel invincible. Like anything is possible. Like they can be themselves. Like they can be different.
8. Tell us a little bit about your debut album, Born Yesterday?
The album is a combination of four older tunes that we’re excited to finally share with a broader audience, and a bunch of new songs we wrote in New York, L.A., and Nashville. It’s pretty gigantic sounding (Neal Avron, who did the last Twenty One Pilots, mixed it) with lots of production surprises and crazy hooks. We produced the album ourselves but also worked with some amazing folks like Ricky Reed and Tim Pagnotta.
9. The latest track you released was “Painkiller.” Can you tell us a little bit about the track?
We originally wrote “Painkiller” as a dance-pop track and tried to pitch it to other artists, but everyone at Atlantic loved it and wanted us to cut a version for the album. We weren’t sure how it would fit, but when we went into the studio almost two years after the original writing sessions, the band version became something even more special. It’s still a bit of an outlier on the album, but it also might become a bridge between Born Yesterday and a lot of the music we’ve been working on for the future.
10. What is something that you’ve accomplished so far in your career that you are most proud of?
The team of people we worked with on the album — from Pete Ganbarg at Atlantic to the aforementioned Ricky Reed (our favorite producer) and mixer Neal Avron — is pretty special. These folks are the tops and it’s an amazing feeling to see them share our vision. But, honestly, the fact that the music alone is what has propelled us is probably my biggest point of pride. We haven’t had to fool anyone with a viral video or any kind of gimmick. The journey has felt like forever but the bottom line is we’ve written our way into more and more opportunities and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s amazing to see crowds of thousands of people, none of whom have ever heard our music, respond so strongly to it. That’s how you know it’s real.
11. What is your go to drink from a coffee shop?
PSA: STARBUCKS OFFERS COCONUT MILK NOW12. What is your current favorite song?
We listen to sooooo much music so this is always a brutal question. But I’ll say that in 2018 I’ve probably worn out Kacey Musgraves’ “High Horse,” SAINt JHN’s “I Heard You Got Too Litt Last Night,” serpentwithfeet’s “messy,” Lo Moon’s “This Is It,” and King Princess “Talia” the most. The new Years & Years album is insanely good, too. We put most of these on the 2018 Summer Jams playlist we made for y’all.
13. What was the first concert you went to?
The first one I chose to go to was Soundgarden @ the Patriot Center in Virginia. And I found out this summer that Paul’s first concert was Soundgarden as well, so, destiny, bro.
14. What is your favorite movie?
Empire of the Sun.
15. If you could create your dream tour, who would be on the lineup?
Keeping it all 2018 again, probably…
Daniel Avery b2b Ross from Friends DJ set
Jim-E Stack b2b Jacques Greene DJ Set
Jon Hopkins DJ Set
Diplo DJ’s until tomorrow